Sunday, November 20, 2016
I was in a great class today with our new ward (our boundaries were rearranged) and it was in that first elders quorum lesson that there was a condensed discussion on the subject of the Tree of Life. For those that don't know what this is, its a tree that produces a fruit so desired that you would give everything for. For us in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, its the gospel of Jesus Christ; the knowledge of God and his Son, the Messiah of the world.
While we were learning about how much faith played in our lives and our success on learning who God is and what He wants for us His children, we make the point that for each of us the fruit of the Tree of Life is different for each of us. For some this means that a person loves the sacrament, others it might be the role of tithing; the elements that bring out the best of us and strengthen our faith. As a side note, my faith has been built by trial of physical events that ask for me to pray and call out to the Lord for help. The Lord has been mindful of me and answered my prayers.
While I was in the course the idea of a tree that has had limbs grafted into it like a citrus tree that has oranges, limes and lemons. By itself the tree would only gain the experience of oranges or just lemons etc... but grafting a tree through painful for the tree creates something that can be so beneficial to everyone that owns one of these graft trees.
The Lord knows all too much about grafting but this part of my life where I am the tree and the fruit is now coming out of my work and faith is a new realization. I have always seen the fruit of the Tree of Life as an outside is a brand new thought. The fruit that I am called to produce must be sweet and desirable and bring others to the great and divine tree that all should seek to partake.
A bit of a big load huh?
Thankfully the Lord groups the trees of this fantastic fruit through gathering the saints. After all, the fruit of the saints are not always sweet (think of grapefruits). So mixing experiences and tastes of life is almost crucial. How grateful am I for that? Very. I love our savior and his master plan. I don't always understand it but man I love being a part of it.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Also known Lord here am I.
There are several examples of men who were asked to pass through fire or watch others pass though their own trial;names such as Alma the younger, Abenadi, Daniel, Shadrach, Meeshak Abendego just to name a few. What seemed odd to me was that my good friend Mike made a good point that when we come to these moments that we should be eager like Nephi and young Samuel and not ask how can I survive this or how can I do this and dwell on "Lord thy servant heareth" or "I will go and do". God at times is our teacher and provides a way. Sometimes we are asked to make a sacrifice and like a fireman pass through the flames not knowing that we will return.
In these harsh modern times we think that we will escape the a time a harsh as the holocaust or the bubonic plague. We think that we are more righteous or something; that the Apocalypse or Armageddon will be gentle.
As much as I would love to agree with the idea, I am under the suspicion that although we are a righteous nation, we are (the wheat) are surrounded by the wicked (the tares). The bundling is beginning. Do you remember that there is a great gathering of Israel. Those that hate the field that is white are also eager to burn the world so that no one survives. And while we are asked to prepare, we are also asked to fear not.
We are now at a time that calls for more courage, more faith and more charity than we have ever seen. We are asked to push as hard as we can to be the people that will shine like a beacon on a hill. Sure that makes us a target but with God at our helm we can face the struggle that is to come, the fire that we are called to pass through. We may die; we may survive, God will know and tell. When we meet our Maker, I hope to God that all of us that we will meet again and we will have a joy that cannot be quenched and a story that will make our ancestors and petigree proud.